GSRgirlforever is unforetunately having connection problems, but I decided "to hell with it" and posted so expect it to have errors.

Technically, this is my second Iron Man story, but I bought a Mac from a friend then had trouble so I bought a new one which isnt a Mac and he hasn't been able to send it over yet.

I have a new direction for Let it go, but am uncertain if people will be cool with it. I have written Chapter 7 but Word is being annoying and wont let me edit anything. All I ask is for you to bare with me.

Set at some point during Iron Man 2 so yes, there will be spoilers, based on what I know about the book whih should be delivered sometime next week.

DISCLAIMER: If I dont own CSI, how does one expect me to own Iron Man? Co-incidently, I have Black Sabbath as my ringtone

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Something was wrong.

As his personal assistant of ten- going on eleven - years, Pepper was mentally kicking herself for not noticing sooner. The changes weren't exactly subtle, but she'd been so busy worrying about his excursions and the clostraphobia of the press, it wasn't until his birthday, six months after the nightmare that was the 'Iron Man' conference, that she really noticed how far he was falling.

He hadn't had a drink since returning from Afghanistan then this happened suddenly. Iron Man was no longer a symbol of peace and Tony didnt seem to care. Natalia had her back almost against his chest, the Iron Man gauntlet on her hand, blowing up a rather pricey vase. Rhodey told her to leave, that he'd handle it. When she got the call from JARVIS about the fight between the pair and Rhodey taking off with the Mark II suit, Pepper put her head in her hands and sighed.

"How the hell did things get this bad?"

Fury says his problem is putting everyone in more danger than if Iron Man didn't exist and for the first time since beginning her employment at Stark Industries, Pepper was at a loss. Fury knew what was wrong, but she feared the answer. If she were to find out, she'd rather not hear it from S.H.I.E.L.D.

"Whats going on Tony?"

"Don't know what you're talking about Pep, I'm fine."

"Bullshit." Tony turned to her in shock.

"Excuse me?"

"For eight months you haven't touched a drop of alcohol, then this happens? What changed?"

There was a haunted look in his eye that she hadn't seen for a while. His head dropped for a moment before he gathered himself He walked toward her, took her hand and led her toward the couch, all without saying a word. Pepper expected him to let go, when he didn't, she knew something was VERY wrong.

"I'm dying Pepper."

His voice was quiet and she almost yelled at him for such a bad joke, but the look on his face told she he wasn't lying.

"The piece in my chest is rejecting my body. I created the damn thing to save me, I never thought for a minute that it could actually kill me."

"Jesus Tony, why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"I got scared. For a while I thought I was invincible. I lost that in Afghanistan and thought I got it back with Iron Man. Guess I got it wrong."

Pepper was at a loss for what to say. In a bold, and rather shocking, move, she shifted her hand slightly, slipping her slim fingers into the gaps between his larger ones. They sat in silence when Tony gently rested his head on her shoulder. He sniffled slightly, a lone tear dropping on to the material of Pepper's shirt. He quickly wiped his cheek with his free hand.

"Being a superhero sucks sometimes."

"Even heroes have the right to cry Tony."

"I thought heroes had the right to dream?"

"Heroes have the right to do what they damn well please."

"Like its ever stopped me before." Pepper let out the tiniest of laughs. "I don't get it Potts, how'd I get lucky enough to have you in my life?"

"If memory serves me, you found me when I found an error in your math, which is supposed to never be wrong."

"Best mistake I ever made."

Pepper allowed a tiny smirk to grace her lips. Their heads were so close that their noses actually brushed as he rose up to face her. They were so close that he could see the tiny edge of grey in her flawless blue eyes, the uneven distribution of air produced from her mouth, grazing his lips.

Both parties unconciously began moving toward the other, the top of his lip gently grazing the bottom of hers....

"Sir, General Fury is on the line."

Neither move for a moment, taking in that JARVIS, of all 'people' had just interrupted their first kiss, before reluctantly pulling apart.

"You better get that."

"Yeah."

"Will that be all Mr Stark?"

"That will be all Miss Potts."